Judging a book…

Can you tell me why we are so quick to judge people based on how they look? Why do we always have to assume that because someone wears a certain type of hairstyle that it says something about who they are inside; meaning that they are a bad person of something like that.

There is this guy I went to school with who has always been my friend. We always liked each other and my parents like him too, especially my mother. He was always the neatest in the group and that impressed her. Back then we were in first and second form.

Over the years we drifted apart, in that we started to enjoy the company of others, but never really stopped being friends. Because we did not hang out together, obviously my mother did not see a lot of him.

Now I am at university, about to graduate as a matter of fact, and my mother is hopping made that I have been coming home at night with “that rastaman”. The truth is, he is no rasta, he just wears braids. And “that rastaman” is my old friend from school who is a tower of support and genuine friendship for me.

My mother does not recognise him, but only because she has not taken the time to see beyond the hairstyle, and I have no intention of telling her he is the same sweet person she used to be so excited about years ago.

I love my mother and I will not do anything to hurt her, but I just keeps annoying me that people will judge someone just on the basis of what they wear or how they look. That is not what they taught me, but for some reason they are not applying it to themselves.

We are not involved, but who knows, we might be at some time, and I shudder to think what would happen if it had to tell them so. But for now I just plan to wait until she recognises him and see what she will say then.

I just wanted to say that. You don’t have to respond.

— Loving Daughter

Since Yuh Asked, LD, I don’t believe I have to say very much because your letter is very clear and to the point. And as far as I am concerned it is not just for your mother, but adults everywhere who preach one thing and then do something different.

I understand as a parent we want to see our children in perfect circumstances and we often judge “perfect” based on the perceptions imbedded in our minds. What this ought to do, however, is reinforced in your mind that when it becomes your time you must help to spread the message about the impact of prejudice.

In the meanwhile though, you might want to soften your stance and tell your mother who the person is who’s bringing you home.

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